After breakfast, start by heading for the central parts of Uppsala. If you’re unsure of the direction, all you need to do is direct your steps towards the Cathedral and Castle, towering in the distance. Before long, you arrive at the main square, or Stora Torget – the very hub of Uppsala’s shopping district. But we’ll leave the shopping spree alone for a while, and embark instead on a cultural hiking tour.
All of Uppsala’s most prominent landmarks are located in a cluster to the west of the River Fyrisån. Cross one of the bridges, walk past the classic Domtrappkällaren tavern, and continue under the archway, and you’ll be able to admire Scandinavia’s largest and tallest cathedral at close range. The oldest gothic church in the Nordic region is a breath-taking sight, outside as well as inside. After checking out Gustav Vasa’s and Carl von Linné’s graves, you are recommended a visit to the north tower, which houses the Cathedral’s Treasury.
Standing almost back-to-back with the cathedral is the Museum Gustavianum, with its characteristic dome-shaped tower room. Uppsala University’s oldest preserved building is used today as an official university museum. The university was founded as early as 1477, but it is something of a novelty in comparison with many of the objects on display in the museum. Real mummies, Viking helmets, antique coins, and Celsius’ own thermometer count among the highlights. The crowning feature is the anatomical theatre, where seventeenth-century students carried out dissections in front of the public. NOTE: Gustavianum is closed until spring 2024 due to renovations.
Just behind the Gustavianum is Uppsala University’s magnificent main building. The University Main Building was inaugurated under pomp and circumstance in 1887, and since then has been a symbol for the University City of Uppsala. Sit down on a bench in the University Park, and ponder a moment over the university’s much-debated motto “Free thinking is a great thing, but right thinking is even greater”. Nearby you can also find the cosy Fyrisbiografen neighbourhood cinema, and several student associations.